TCs call for better brake testing

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Traffic commissioners have called for commercial vehicle operators to make urgent improvements on brake testing. According to the commissioners there’s often too little recorded on the brake test to offer a meaningful assessment, while in others no information is recorded at all.

Sarah Bell and Kevin Rooney, the lead traffic commissioners for enforcement, said: “Despite the clear warnings for industry, traffic commissioners are still receiving reports about a lack of effective and proactive brake performance testing regimes.

“This is not limited to a specific type of licence, size of operator or a particular sector – it is across the board. That is why TCs are highlighting the need for a change of attitude within the industry towards brake testing.

“There should be no compromise in any operator’s approach, no flexibility around standards.”

James Firth, FTA head of licencing policy and compliance, said that the association actively supports any activity, such as the DVSA’s roadside checks, which works to identify potential problems and raise safety standards across the freight industry for all road users.

“The levels of defects identified by the DVSA checks are worrying, but FTA supports its members who take the right steps to ensure they remain compliant, 365 days a year, not just on one single day,” said Firth. “Our advice to operators echoes that of the Traffic Commissioners: do what is outlined in the industry-backed Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, ensure brake performance is properly monitored the whole year round, and you won’t go far wrong.

“The challenge for the Traffic Commissioners, DVSA and industry bodies is to help all operators to meet the standards of the Guide. FTA fully supports DVSA in taking effective enforcement action where this is wilfully neglected.”

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